HC Deb 16 March 1882 vol 267 cc1016-7

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, If his attention has been called to a paragraph in the "Daily News" of yesterday, headed "Uproarious Meeting at Basing-stoke," describing a meeting held by Mr. Arch in that town, in the Corn Exchange, to consider the question of the agricultural labourer. It states that— The room was occupied before the proceedings commenced by a gang of roughs. Mr. Arch attempted to speak, but was refused a hearing, and was pelted with rotten eggs and ochre. Mr. Mitchell shared the same fate. After an hour and a half had been vainly spent in endeavouring to obtain quietude, the meeting was brought to an end amid much uproar; whether the authorities of Basingstoke were aware that this meeting was broken up by the same organized gang whose violence towards the members of the Salvation Army has more than once been the subject of Parliamentary inquiry; and, if the Home Office will take the matter into immediate consideration?


asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether it is true that, on September 21st 1881, ten of the Basingstoke roughs were released from Winchester Gaol, where they had been suffering a fortnight's imprisonment for attacks on the Salvation Army; whether they were brought home to Basingstoke in a carriage and four, escorted by outriders in fancy costumes, and accompanied by their supporters, the brewers and publicans of Basingstoke; whether, in the evening, a banquet was given to the. released prisoners in the Corn Exchange, which was granted for the pur- pose by the Corporation, the proceedings being wound up by a free fight, in which the police were powerless; and, whether any communication has been made from the Home Office to the authorities of Basingstoke, with a view to the better preservation of order?


I know nothing of either of these two circumstances referred to in the first Question. I have had no communication whatever on the subject with the local authorities. The circumstance referred to by the hon. Member for Carlisle has not been brought under my notice.


gave Notice that, in consequence of the Home Secretary's reply, he would, on an early day, call attention to the fact that the Magistrates in various parts of the Country fail to provide adequate protection to Her Majesty's subjects, assembled in lawful public meeting, from the attacks of disorderly persons; and to move a Resolution.